Unbothered by comments that she may be shown the door for openly saying she will back former Vice President Atiku Abubakar against sitting President Muhammadu Buhari for the presidency in 2019, the Minister of Women Affairs, Aisha Alhassan, has reiterated her comments in a BBC interview.
A video in which the former Taraba Senator made comments backing Atiku in an Eid el Kabir visit went viral earlier. In the video, she said, “Mr President, our father, Nigeria’s president for 2019, God willing, in your presence today are your people who have been placed under your care for forever…”
On the Hausa Service of the BBC, she explained her position: “Atiku is my godfather even before I joined politics…And again, Baba Buhari did not tell us that he is going to run in 2019.”
“Let me tell you today that if Baba said he is going to contest in 2019, I swear to Allah, I will go before him and kneel and tell him that ‘Baba I am grateful for the opportunity you gave me to serve your government as a minister but Baba just like you know I will support only Atiku because he is my godfather. If Atiku said he is going to contest.”
“If because of what I said, I am sacked, it will not bother me because I believe in Allah, that my time has elapsed that is why…”
“Baba is not a mad man like those calling for my sack. They have been sending it and spreading that if Baba sees this I will be sacked.”
Latching on to her comments to Atiku in a trending video, a group has said her comments smack of a vote of no confidence on her boss.
Co-Convener of the Coalition in Defence of Nigerian Democracy and Constitution (CDNDC), Ariyo-Dare Atoye, said in a statement: “The comment by Mama Taraba (Minister Aisha Alhassan) is contrary to the obscure claim by the National Chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC), John Oyegun, earlier this year that there is no vacancy in Aso Rock in 2019.
“This video may have finally confirmed our suspicion that President Buhari is sick and may have become encumbered to the extent that he would not be able to seek re-election in 2019.
“The comment is also an indictment on Oyegun and all those who are setting up structures for Buhari’s re-election in 2019. It is important for Nigerians to see through the deceits in the APC as a fractured party that can no longer hold together.
“The Buhari government is fast crumbling: the DSS boss is fighting EFCC boss; the AGF is fighting EFCC boss; APC Senator is fighting the IG of Police: now a serving Minister is campaigning for a party chieftain for 2019.
“Everything that has happened has now confirmed that bombshell of an interview by the President’s wife, Aisha Buhari, when she warned she may not campaign for her husband in 2019.
“Aisha knew there was a plan to take advantage of her husband for 2019 and this much is known to Alhassan, who through her latest comment has confirmed the fact that Buhari is unfit for 2019.”